Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happened to have a spare T-Amp? An Ipod? A single phase motor? read on...

If you happened to have all the three of the above, you can actually do THIS!.
I am curious if this thing really work or not but heyyy, this is DIY! :D
It is good to know that someone's grey matter can be working 'outside the box'. Not an easy or usual thing to do but I guess we DIYers have this capability when we are short of 'things' if you know what I mean.. ;) We can be very resourceful !
For all intents and purposes, at least this might give us an idea to something else..
Who would believe a T-Amp to drive a motor! LOL.

Friday, May 29, 2009

DIY- The best so far...

DIY turntable and tonearm!
Have been thinking about this since my Systemdek II was out of action a long while back.
Buying new turntable, a really audiophile grade is financial suicide! LOL. Hard to explain to the missus too! ;)

I got this link from

Have a look!

Man! If only I have the time, money and energy.. ;)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Safety - An interesting read.

I got the link from
Eventhough the article was written with tubes application in mind, we can take a point or two about hazard and safety when working with mains operated equipments. I had a fair share of being shocked while doing my DIY stuffs. Safety is paramount, let's be safe and alive to enjoy the fruits of our passion and labour!

The link:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ramblings and another T-Amp!

If you have noticed, I've put up a new flag counter. The old flag counter went 'kaput' some time last week. That link was from "webseomasters" and their server seems to be 'dead'.. there goes my data and I have to start all over..

Earlier I wanted to puchase a LEPAI amp.- a Tripath TA2020 chip based amp. You might be aware that I have the 'smaller' power TA2024. Currently the 'supplier' of the LEPAI amp is waiting for new stocks to arrive...

This is an interesting read from some LEPAI user that did some modifications to the unit.. There's also a thread at

Here's the link:

Despite all the stuffs I got last week, there were absolutely NO progress whatsoever either the VSPS or the LDR volume control.. I am in this 'not in the mood' mode for DIY for the time being.. I may start with the PSU for the VSPS. Building a PSU is always my favourite past time.. we'll see how it goes...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

GALE3030 - Further listening impressions

The Gale was set up in another system consisting of a Technics SU-V7K (80W RMS per channel) amplifier. Source are lossless files played by a PC and digitally decoded by an external DIY DAC, PCM58.

Compared to the Monitor Audio R252 that was in the same position, the sound is much much more neutral with well controlled and defined and extended bass. No subwoofer was used as the earlier setup was using one. Details were excellent albeit a little laid back sound stage! With louder volume, the overall sound does not 'shriek/shout'like the R252.. Then again, its no comparo.. the R252 is a bookshelf!
The 3030 is just like a well behaved 'gentlemen'.. That much I can say. It takes the pounding without much resistance and hesitations. Honestly will NOT induce 'fatigue' with long hours of listening pleasure...

Picture shows the size comparisons between the two floorstanders.. BTW, I got the 3030 at almost half price I paid for the RTL3! In terms of overall performance, if the RTL3 is a BMW M5, the 3030 would be the 3 series equivalent..

The Gale is currently being evaluated by Junior.. wait for the final conclusions!

GALE3030 Listening Impressions

I just had about an hour worth of listening with the GALE.
I'd say it's a 'smaller' version of my RTL3. Nice and sweet midrange and top. Sound stage was excellent and a very vivid depth! The bass if compared to the RTL3 is not overwhelming and sufficient for the complete enjoyment of the music. However the lower end were a bit 'woolly' probably because it is not on the spikes. The spikes was not installed as I do not want to scratch my well polished broken marble flooring!
Picture shows the GALE taking the place of the RTL3 position. Source was from a DIY CD transport using an IMATION CDRW drive with drive controller digitally feeding an Audio Alchemy's Digital Decoding Engine v1.1(DAC) powered by my DIY STK hybrid amplifier with a buffer preamp. All interconnects are DIYed including speaker cables.
I would have agreed with the second reviewer on the speakers being suitable in a 'small' room. But do not be misled the term 'small' and the size of the speakers! For a small speakers it sure sound BIG/HUGE! Reminds me of the ProAc Tablet speakers...

More later... need to hear more music on this baby.. ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

GALE3030 Speakers

The latest HiFi gadget I just bought, a pair of GALE3030 speakers! Not new but a very good condition used unit. Picked up from the owner's house this afternoon. A YAMAHA AV amp was thrown in for 'free'! This is the third pair of speakers in my possession after the Monitor Audio R252, and TDL Electronic's RTL3. All of these are british made speakers! They don't make speakers like they used to, eh? ;)

Some description from the Net:
These finely tuned floorstanders are designed to give a deep, punchy bass, without compromising the sparkling treble response. And, boy do they sound good.

Features of the Gale 3030 include:
Nominal Power - 100 Watt RMS
Frequency Reponse - 39 Hz-20,000 Hz
Sensitivity - 90 dB
Impedance - 8 Ohm
Magnetically Shielded
Woofer Material - Paper
Woofer Size - 5.5"
Tweeter Size - .98"
Mounting - Floorstanding
Exterior Color - Black, Brown

1. "Reviewed by gary gilbert on 26/01/2008
As every ones ears, like their taste in food differ! i think i have a great taste in speakers. so three years ago`ish i visited my favorite sweet shop for grown ups! and sampled their wares. i was looking for a slim pair of speakers to fit nicely in my bed room. listened to the gale 3030s and knew straight away they were just right. i paired them up with a pair of missions i also use and the sound is excellent! from jazz to classical even dance music. these speakers are powerful enough and smooth enough for anyones taste! i have owned quite a few pairs of speakers over the years and these are precise, tight and the base is just right. i admit the missions are a bit too bassy when the volumes up! but these gales are more refind and balance my system out quite nicely. i think these 3030 gales are well worth every penny the £150 i spent! but as i say we all have different taste!"

2. "Reviewed by Angryman on 24/06/2006
I've had these for over a year and i cannot get over at how good they sound. Bass, Trebble, Mids... these speakers can produce it all at an affordable price in a nice compact package perfect for Bedrooms or smaller rooms. Will not shatter your windows as they distort at loud volumes but for my liking they are loud enough and the sound quality allows me to appreciate every style of music. Highly Recommended, except for really large Rooms.

The 'soft dome' tweeter.. high frequencies sound good on this... ;)

The single woofer (as opposed to two on my current RTL3). Not a huge unit, but I guess it would be sufficient.. we'll know when I test it tonight!

The back showing the terminals for biwiring/biamping.. note the missing metal connectors. Need to 'manufacture' 2 pairs so that I can test/audition the speakers tonight!

Saturday's goodies...

5X 100ohm 1/2W resistors for the LDR project, 10x 1cm PCB supports, 2.6V bulbs and socket for the LDR project experiment...

15 pieces of RCA sockets. Got 10% discount if I buy more.. hence the quantity. I actually need 4. Good for future use.. hehe

This is a 'normal' version XLR type connectors.. (cheap)

On the left is an original(read expensive) Neutrik XLR female socket with a not so original XLR male plug...

The new casing bought beside my original VSPS... same casing,same quality but 'slightly' cheaper.. ;)

Seen here is the almost complete power supply to the VSPS. Minus the cover and wires and plugs...

Here comes SATURDAY!

Saturday is here again! After two saturdays, I better conclude the outstanding issues.
Today's plan.
1. Getting the hardwares for the VSPS kit for a fellow forumer. Just need casings, 12V tranny and the associated stuffs..
2. Few more minor items for my LDR volume control. I definitely need a new casing as the previous one bought suxs :D
3. Pick up my GALE 3030 speakers that will come together with a free YAMAHA AV amp! ;)

We'll see how it goes..

Thursday, May 21, 2009

F5 power supply (PS)

The above pic shows a great looking P2P PS for the F5. One heck of a beautiful job done by Peter Daniel and I strive to follow! ;)

B1 preamp and F5 power amplifier

The above is the B1 buffer preamp..

Pictures above are various builds of the F5..


Both of the above items (F5 & B1)caught my attention this week.

Initially it was the F5. It started someone in the local forum wanna do a group buy to share shipping charges.. I did not realized that the F5's PCBs are 'cheap' and kinda simple to build up.

The existence of B1 buffer preamp I had known for quite sometime, which actually initiate me to build a 'low end' version of my existing buffer preamp.. I think it's time to play with 'bigger' toys..
Here are some pictures of the F5 taken from diyaudio, build by the respective forumer. The copyright of the pictures are theirs.. ;)
More info can be read at Get ready to read, at this point of time, a 150 pages worth of postings.. :D

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

LDR Volume Control - the progress so far...

As I was trying to drill the holes for the installation of the RCA sockets, the darn back panel cracked apart! WTF? It seems that the back(and front) plate is made of some brittle plastic! Trying to be more 'careful' I tried to centre punch a hole, as soon as my hammer hit the centre punch, whole darn panel broke to pieces! LOL. Honestly, I have bought a similar casing/box before and this is the first time such a thing happened. Looks like , I have to get from my usual supplier. So, scrap the whole casing then.. need another approach.
Did tried to fireup the LEDs and checked if the 51 ohm series resistance is good enough, testing using a 9V battery looks good. I guess a working voltage of 5V in the original schematics is workable.. No more progress on this..
Anybody working into this too? Drop me a line!
Have a nice day ;)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

LDR Volume Control - an update.

As earlier planned, managed to go to Jalan Pasar (JP) to meet up with a fellow forumer. It so happened that today is a public holiday, and we did not realized that until we saw our fav electronic parts suppliers are closed! NIXIE, MAPLIN and a few others, but some other 'ordinary' suppliers are open and the good news is, I managed to get the required parts for the LDR project, including the casing! The pix shows what I got.. ;)
I bought an extra LDR and a 250K pot, 'just incase'! Don't think I can start the build up tonite.. tomorrow, hopefully!
My fellow forumer managed to get some RCA plugs (switchcraft) and CANARE cable for his tt cabling. Pretty good price!

VSPS- New improved Kit

As earlier mentioned, the kit finally arrived intact yesterday. Hooray!
Checked, everything seems to be in order and will start to build it up ASAP.. The caps supplied now are Nichicon Muse!
Picture shows the two PCBs, two bags of the other required components (voltage regulators, metal oxides resistors, opamp with socket and a BOM.

Will try to post the build up and progress of this kit.. stay tuned!

Technics SL-2000 - Current Status

Just a quick status update.
The SL-2000 is now in my main system,as the only analogue source for playing the vinyls. The VSPS (beside the tt) has been a great performer.. Overall sound is beyond expectations for a turntable that has not been played for more than 2 decades! The Ortofon OM10 Super is a great performer, and when partnered with a great DIY phono amp like the VSPS, it's one heck of a system!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lightspeed Attenuator/LDR Volume control - reading time!

I have been reading the thread at diyaudio since yesterday, stopped at page 45 out of 80 (I think). Hell! That's way too much reading for a 'small project'... As good as it may be, it seems that the LDR has it's own set of problems.. One thing for sure, the majority of the users were pleased with the sound..
What I'm gonna do is that, I'll try out the simple/basic version based on diyparadise schematics.. pending audition , may then use the Light Attenuator version, probably using optocouplers.. they're about RM15 each at RS..

Couple of interesting thing to happen this weekend.
-My VSPS kits should be arriving any time now.
-Am supposed to pickup my GALE 3030 and a Yamaha AV amp in KL
- A friend is giving away his Rega Planar 3 + RB300 arm, the Planar 3 is 'free' while the price for RB300 was not mentioned, but its gonna be 'a price I could not refuse'! Well, we'll see.. all this for the VSPS kit and the 'enhancments' that I'm gonna do for him.. hehe..
- will get the parts for the LDR volume control from my fav haunting place; Jalan Pasar, where else!

Monday, May 4, 2009

LDR volume control - A passive preamp aka Lightspeed Attenuator.

I am aware of the above for quite sometime now.. Have read with interest and somehow it (the interest) 'flame out' for no reason.. maybe I'm 'not in the mood' as usual..
The thread at can be found here.
It so happened that I read the same project at this evening and somehow it striked me that the circuit is sinfully simple and cheap to do.. why the heck didn't I do it?
Details are here.

There were some problems with channel imbalance and diyparadise solved it by using a digital volume control. Handy of course with remote control.. ;)

What really hit me on the face is that this LDR (passive) volume control is far better than, (read this) : "We found the Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) solution to be much much better than ALL passive preamps we could lay our hands on. This includes transformer volume control, autoformer volume control, shunt/series resistive stepped attenuators, marque volume pots like Black Beauty... "

Damned! I gotta find out! So I have somewhat set my mind that this weekend will be LDR volume control week!

While reading the write up, I was thinking,
1. instead of using LEDs as the light source, why not use a proper bulb? Depending on voltage and wattage, I can certainly get the LDR to drop to a very low resistance.. better than the LEDs, right?
2. instead of using a pot for LED brightness control, why not use a variable voltage PSU? More precise control here.
3. instead of adjusting voltage to control the LED brightness why not keep the LED at a fixed brightness but control the amount of light to the LDR by other means? I have an idea like using something like a camera's variable aperture.. and some other contraption which I have in mind that need to be evaluate... all mechanical means..

Let me 'play' with the idea for a while.. will update this on my final version.
Could this be 'better' than my current buffer preamp? We'll find out soon..!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Update - status

Some good news.
1. Akita has responded finally! He was away on holiday! I got the quotes and transferred the money for 2 boards and 2 bags of goodies. I should be getting it sometime this week. Will post some pix.

2. I finally concluded the purchase of the GALE 3030 floorstander! The owner will make some arrangements before I pick up the hardwares. The seller is in London right now, working. Parents is in KL...